UW-Stout News Story

Industrial design students shine in national competitions

September 20, 2013

Industrial design students from University of Wisconsin-Stout have shown that they rank among the best in the country by taking first, second and third places in two national competitions.

Students competed in the Interzinc Student Design Competition and the FreeTech Plastics Student Thermoformed Part Competition.

Students in both competitions were in classes taught by Ben Pratt, a professor in the School of Art and Design.

David Hillenbrand's mechanical metronome.In the Interzinc contest, David Hillenbrand was named one of three winners with his entry Ritme, a mechanical metronome made of zinc. Hillenbrand, of Thiensville, won $2,000 while Pratt received $1,000 for use in the industrial design program at UW-Stout.

The other Interzinc winners were from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and the University of Oregon. More than 100 students entered the contest, which was open to full-time undergraduates in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

The contest included a quiz and practical casting design. Students had to design an unpowered measuring device.

Hillenbrand said his goal was to design a traditional piano-top metronome while exposing its inner mechanical workings.

"I decided to showcase the beautiful internal components as part of a modern machine aesthetic," he said. "Naturally, such intricate elements require unrivaled precision in their manufacture. The precision afforded through zinc die casting made that process an ideal choice."

Interzinc is a market development and technology transfer group dedicated to increasing awareness of zinc casting alloys and processes, according to a news release from the organization. Zinc is the fourth most commonly used metal in the world, Interzinc said.

Brian Erickson's Hard Shell First Responder PackIn the Student Thermoformed Part Competition
, sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America, UW-Stout's Brian Erickson took second place and Travis Poirier third.

Erickson, of Mound, Minn., designed the Hard Shell First Responder Pack, a hard plastic backpack and carrying case for emergency responders.

Poirier, of Middleton, designed the Clam Bike Carrier, a rigid travel pack for bicycles that fits under the crossbar.

Erickson won $1,500 and Poirier $1,000.

Three other UW-Stout students were named finalists in the thermoformed competition: Ryan Enzler, of Rochester, Minn.; Seth Otto, of Evansville; and Jeremy Zimmerman, of Sheboygan.

For more information on UW-Stout's industrial design program, click here.

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